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December, 2009:

Brunswick, Georgia

After staying two nights at the Brunswick Landing Marina, we are leaving this morning.  I’ve enough time to write this blog as Gary fills the water tanks and takes care of our bill at the marina office.

Sunset over Brunswick, GA

The picture is of last night’s sunset.  As I was doing laundry (YEAH!!!), I looked out the window and saw this lovely view, so I had to get a picture to share with all of you.  We are still not bored with seeing these stunning sunsets.

Yesterday, we rode our bikes quite a few miles.  I needed to get weighed in at Weight Watchers, as I have to do that once a month to keep my “lifetime” status.  I got online and found a location of  a WW meeting that was 3 miles away from the marina.  From there we rode our bikes to a grocery store and a West Marine.  We have a backpac and a cooler backpac to carry our groceries when we are getting them via riding the bikes.  It works out well if we watch the volume of the purchase.  There also was a CVS downtown and we picked up a prescription as well.  These are the mundane necessities of life that takes organization and ingenuity to accomplish as boaters.

The historic downtown area of Brunswick was on Gloucester Street, and it is within walking distance of the marina.  Mostly, I noticed numerous antique stores as we rode our bikes down the street.  So if a person were interested in antiques, this would be a wonderful place to spend some time checking out what these stores have to offer.  On our way back through as we go north, I’d like to do just that as I would like to look for a bread bowl in which I can knead bread.  My friend Alicia Byers has one her father-in-law made her, and it looks like it would be very functional and contain a lot of the mess of  kneading bread. 

The other interesting thing I noticed while riding our bikes down Gloucester Street was they used decorative octagonal pavers for all the sidewalks.  The boulevard down the middle of the street and the pretty sidewalks, made a lovely setting for all the quaint restaurants and stores that comprised the historic area.

This port offered many “necessities-for-life amenities”, including a very clean and FREE laundry facility with a TV lounge at the marina, so I am sure we will return to Brunswick, GA  again.

Gary and I are ready for the New Year’s Eve celebration on White Swan.  We have hats, bubbly, and lobsters for our celebration.  We will be somewhere in Florida, probably anchored out with no WiFi availability, so our dear friends and family, WE WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR and GOD’S BLESSINGS TO YOU IN 2010.

Sending our love and gratitude for YOUR  love and friendship, First Mate & Galley Slave Jean and the most honorable Captain Gary S. Glenn

Freezing Temps Follow the Glenns

After anchoring out for the last two nights, we decided to get a slip in a marina tonight.  The temperature is suppose to drop to 28 degrees, making it the coldest night this month in Brunswick, Georgia.  We will appreciate having heat in the boat as the temperature plummets.  NO SNOW, though.  Yeah!!!  We plan on staying here for two nights.  Tomorrow I am going to my monthly Weight Watchers meeting, and then we want to see the historic downtown area of Brunswick.  We are only a days  journey away from the Florida state line, so possibly by Wednesday evening we will be there.

The wind was blowing 20 knotts right on the bow and the current was on our stern as we motored across the sound coming into Brunswick, giving us a ride like a bucking horse.  Our boat can handle the chop of the water, but it sounds like it’s going to tear the boat apart.  It’s times like that, books start flying off the counter, etc. , and we have to make sure things are secure so they won’t fall.  Usually, in a catamaran, things stay put, but not when the water is as choppy as it was today.

I read in the cruising guide that this marina “is protected from all directions, and its surrounding waters have little current, making maneuvering easy.”  WELL… Whoever wrote that piece, has never tried to get into a slip with 20 knotts of wind pushing their boat sideways.  Our first attempt was not successful, and after hurriedly aborting the tactic and backing up with a full throttle to avoid ramming the dock with our bow, we entered the slip keeping the boat in a position off to the side of where we really needed to be to allow the wind to push us over to successfully end up next to the dock.  It really was a guessing game, and we are thankful we accomplished the maneuver on the second attempt.

Sailing is like a box of assorted chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get until you bite into it.

Stinky Fish

Yesterday morning we took advantage of the availability of Eisele’s car, and went to the grocery store and West Marine (THE store for boaters). We decided it would be a good idea to get a full size chart for Florida before we got there. We already had a smaller chart of Florida, which would be okay to get us down the ICW; but, if something happened that took us off the ICW, (like the engine conking out, or the prop falling off) we would need the bigger chart. I mean, my goodness, what’s the chance of something like that happening??? But still, we wanted to be prepared.

We got to West Marine, which is on the other side of Hilton Head Island from our marina, and they were closed. We looked for the hours sign and by all indications they should have been open. As we were talking about our options, a young man came from the back of the store to the door, and explained to us his dilemma. His computer wasn’t working, so he would have no way to ring up our purchase. Desperate as we were, we suggested he write down our credit card number and all the necessary information, and he allowed us to get our “security blanket”, the chart. Yes, it’s that God and idiots thing again. We are thankful.

After saying goodbye to our dear friends, Tom and Jeannie, we walked back to the marina and prepared for our departure. With great apprehension as to what might happen next as we try to leave this marina, we successfully navigated to the lock. Whew!!! As we were recapping the prop incident with the lock-tender ( he was a witness to the event), our friends surprised us to wish us farewell as we were “going down” in the lock. They took pictures of us as we left. I think they wanted “proof” that we really were leaving. (We promised them our visit would not be as long when we return in the spring, because we don’t want to become “stinky fish” again.)

Today has been an uneventful day on the water. That sounds so good, it’s worth repeating…Today has been an uneventful day on the water. Even the adventurous Glenns need a down day every once in a while.

We saw numerous dolphins today. I continue to play my game with them, trying to get their picture before they elude me. They continue to win. Once, Gary stopped the boat as we saw a pair of dolphins gracefully going up and down through the water. I still didn’t get a good picture; but, it was fun to take the time to thoroughly enjoy them and listen to their exhaling through their blow holes. The beauty of this trip has been taking the time to really enjoy things spontaneously.


White Swan at Windmill Harbour Marina on Hilton Head Island

Christmas Day 2009

Gary in hot tub at Windmill Harbor Marina, Christmas 2009

 Not a  bad way to  start any day, and a fabulous way to start Christmas Day. 

Merry Christmas from the Glenns

 We hope all of you had as good of a Christmas as we did.

After lattes in the hot tub and  a long bike ride around the Windmill Harbour plantation (they call subdivisions “plantations” here), we went back to the boat and had brunch.  

Christmas Cheers 2009

Our Christmas present (the propeller and attachment parts) came via UPS, and yesterday Gary successfully attached it.  It’s comforting having a spare prop and attachment parts now.

Tonight we are at our friends, the Eisele’s.  Gary and I prepared dinner for them, in their home, and now we are watching a DVD movie that Tom got for Christmas.  I’m also doing laundry (YEAH!) while we watch the movie and I write this blog.  Multi-tasking is still a large part of our lives, even though we aren’t “working”. 

We plan on leaving Hilton Head tomorrow, barring any unforeseen circumstances.  We feel like we’ve overstayed our visit with the Eisele’s.  We planned on being here for two days and it turned out to be six because of the prop incident.  Gary’s philosophy is “Company should never stay more than three days, because like fish, after three days they start to stink.”   Tom and Jeannie have been generously hospitable to us.  Man, we owe them Big Time.

Kids aren’t the only ones who don’t get everything they want for Christmas.


As you know we wanted to be in Florida on Christmas day.  Well…kids aren’t the only ones who don’t always get what they want for Christmas.  Sometimes adults don’t either.  You won’t even believe what I’m going to tell you…

We were all set to leave Hilton Head Island yesterday, which would give us the three days we needed to get through Georgia and arrive in Florida on the 24th.  We left our dock and motored over to the fuel dock.  While we were there, a man was talking to Gary and as he looked down at our outboard motor he said, “You’re not going to want to hear this, but your prop is missing.”  Sure enough, we looked and the propeller was gone.  It had fallen off somewhere between our dock and the fuel dock. Since we were able to navigate to the fuel dock, we assumed it had fallen off somewhere near there.  It just so happened a scuba diver was in the marina working on another boat, and I had just chatted with him as we were leaving our dock.  I walked over to where he was and asked him if we could hire him to look for our propeller.  He did indeed find the propeller and made a nice cash Christmas bonus. He couldn’t find the small part that held the prop on, but that was like finding a needle in a haystack. We were thankful that he found the prop, especially when we found out how much they cost.  Gary called the manufacturer of our boat and ordered the parts needed to attach the prop, as well as an extra prop and parts to attach it.  If this had happened anywhere else, at any other time, we would not have been so fortunate.  Our friends, the Eisele’s said, “What’s the chance of that happening in 10 feet of water in a marina with a scuba diver there?”  Our reply was, “God watches over idiots and children.”

We had the parts shipped overnight to the Eisele’s house and we are awaiting them now.  Gary will be able to attach the propeller, so we won’t have to get a mechanic to put it on.  (He’s not just a pretty face.)  Actually, we were not going to get each other anything for Christmas this year, but that plan changed as well, and we are expecting our present to arrive here via UPS at any moment.

Since we’ve had this delay, we are just going to stay here in Hilton Head until after Christmas.  At least that’s our plan for now.

We do hope you receive most everything you want for Christmas, and like us, maybe a few surprises… Enjoy your holiday, wherever your life journey takes you.

God’s blessing to you as Christ lights the way for all of us this holy season.

Love to all, Captain Gary S. Glenn and First Mate & Galley Slave Jean

Hilton Head Island, S.C.

After a windy, rocky sail through Port Royal Sound, we safely arrived at Hilton Head Island. This is where our friends, Jeannie and Tom Eisele live.   We feel like we’ve accomplished another great feat by making it this far.

To get into the Windmill Marina on Hilton Head Island, we had to go through a very narrow lock.  We did so without a whole lot of trouble, and docked White Swan well.  There were dockhands available to get us tied to the dock, and that always helps tremendously.  Since this marina has a lock at it’s entrance, the dockage area is not affected by the 7 to 9 foot tides prevalent in this area.  Nor is there a need for floating docks, which raise and lower with the tide.

As you can guess by just hearing the name of the island, this marina is extremely high-class. Gary and I were talking about how, for two days anyway, we are living in a multi-million dollar neighborhood.  This is a private marina for this “gated community”.  Last night we enjoyed the hot tub that is at the swimming pool, sauna, and tennis court area. SWEET…

The amenities here are a plus, but not what’s important to us.  The best thing about being here, is getting to be with our friends.  Tonight we went to their home and visited with them, their two daughters, a daughter’s boyfriend, and four dogs.  A lot of energy was flowing in their home, and the time spent with this family was delightful.

The Eisele’s treated us to dinner at a nice restaurant.  Afterward, we went to their home for dessert.  I was able to connect to their WiFi and upload ( I think that’s the right techy term) a couple of day’s blogs.  Speaking of that, I need to give my niece, Carissa, credit for the suggestion of writing the daily blog on my word processor and then copying it to the website when we have WiFi availability.  Brilliant, Cari.  Your suggestion is working perfectly.

Glenns with Jeannie & Tom Eisele

12-21-09  We spent today with the Eisele’s doing various tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, etc.  I helped Jeannie pick out new glasses at her eye doctor’s office (it’s like riding a bike), while Gary worked on the boat and took care of paying bills online.

Jeannie made a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  She prepared a wonderful meal for us since we won’t be having a traditional Christmas dinner on the boat.

By the way, in case you are wondering what we are doing for Christmas, our only plans are to be in Florida by then.  Anywhere in Florida.  We have three days to get through Georgia in order to be there by Christmas.  We plan on leaving South Carolina in the morning.  Hilton Head Island is right on the border of South Carolina and Georgia.  You can see coastal Georgia from the south end of Hilton Head.

We wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.  May you be blessed.  Love to all,  Jean and Gary

America’s Only Tea Plantation

When we started this trip, our agenda was to have no agenda. It’s a good thing we set that precedent. We planned on leaving the Rockville Marina on Madmalaw Island today, but we woke up to rain and it has poured all day. So, we decided to stay here another night and go see the tea plantation today. We put on our rain gear, including jackets, bib pants and rubber boots; and, looking like the “old salts” that we are, we borrowed the marina’s pick-up truck and went to the tea plantation. The Charleston Tea Plantation is the only tea plantation in America. The original tea plants came from China about 100 years ago. They have survived throughout the years and make the plantation what it is today. We got to go into the factory where the tea is withered, dried , and sifted. The amount of time spent oxidizing, is what determines if the end result of the process makes black, green or oolong (served in oriental restaurants) tea.

After purchasing tea in the gift shop, we sat on the plantation’s veranda in rocking chairs and watched the rain fall through the Spanish moss laced trees that stood between the veranda and the acres and acres of tea bushes (that look like rows of nicely trimmed boxwood). Yeah, it was as “cool” as it sounds. Aren’t we lucky the motor broke down?

Upon leaving the tea plantation we tried to find a fresh seafood market at the edge of the island. The lady in the gift shop told us about it and gave us directions to get there. The directions said to go until the pavement turned to a gravel road and keep on going. We did so, only to end up in mud puddles that nearly came to the floor boards of the truck. Like I said, it’s rained here all day, and we didn’t think about what that would do to a non-paved road. (We don’t have any of those in Indianapolis.) When the land got high enough to get out of the mud puddles, we aborted the mission and turned around. As we turned around we noticed someone else was driving toward us, only they didn’t use the “road”, they were driving up on the higher ground near the road. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. So we took the same higher ground weaving in and out of trees and making it back to the main road.

We got back to the marina and the gates were locked, locking us out. Since it rained all day, the marina closed early. We ended up backing the pickup truck to the six foot tall gate, getting in the bed of the truck and climbing over the fence. Gary did it with ease. Me, not so graceful, but I managed it. After we got to the other side, we looked at where we left the truck, in the middle of the gate, and decided it should be more to the side, so the workers can get by it when they come to work. So…Gary climbed back over the gate, moved the truck to the side and climbed back over the gate for the third time. All with great ease and agility that 99.9 percent of the 70 year old population could not display. (He’s amazing.)

Well, that’s our adventure for today. Wish you were here to experience it with us….

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Rice

We left Charleston, S.C. yesterday, traveling only 25 miles before engine problems occurred. The motor stalled several times before completely dying. Gary changed the three fuel filters that are on our Westerbeke diesel engine and it still would not start. By the time we called Tow Boat US (like AAA motor club for boats) it was too late in the day for them to tow us anywhere, so we anchored for the night in the ICW. This is a first for us, anchoring right on the ICW. Usually, we get off the major waterway into a charted anchorage. Obviously, that was not an option last night. However, where the motor stopped, the river was quite wide and we were able to get to the edge of the channel and drop the anchor, thereby positioning us out of the way of any boat traffic. The wind was calm all evening and we were far enough away from the ocean that the current was not bad. All in all, if we were going to have a breakdown, the spot was ideal. The sunset was one of the prettiest we have seen. How could we complain? Yep, God watches over idiots and children. Even the extremely cold night did not damper our spirits, and we slept well as the anchor held tight throughout the night.

The tow boat was to pick us up at 9:30 this morning and he showed up exactly on time. We had a smooth seven mile tow, back to the north to Wadmalaw Island, to a marina where they could work on the engine. As luck would have it, (we believe it’s the Big One upstairs) the marina specializes in Westerbeke engine repair, which is not always easy to find, even in larger cities. Gary was able to purchase replacement filters for the ones he used, and the mechanic not only fixed the engine, he also changed the oil, which was needed as well.

As I said, we had a smooth ride to the marina, enabling me to start a batch of cookies. By the time we got to the marina, the batter was ready and I baked them once we were docked. The recipe I used is my own. I call them Jean’s Healthy Cookies which is an oxymoron, I know. I figure they are healthier than a lot of other recipes that’s all butter, white flour and sugar. If anyone wants the recipe, e-mail me at and I’ll send it to you when I have WiFi availability.

As you can probably tell, we love to eat good food, and I love to cook and bake. I like to take a recipe and make it my own by changing ingredients to fit our tastes. Tonight I made Lemon Rice using Carolina Gold Rice purchased in Charleston, and Grilled Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. If you want those recipes as well, just ask. Gary and I both like to cook and when we perfect a recipe to our liking, we put it in our special cookbook. Our friend, Alice Snellenberger, said when we die, she wants the cookbook. We take that as a compliment.

The people who work at the Rockville Marina, which is where we are right now, are very nice and accommodating. We asked what was in the area and we found out there is a tea plantation near here, the only one in the United States, and a winery. They said we could use their pick-up truck to drive to the winery which is about 10 miles from here on the island. Our plan was to go to the winery and then stop by the tea plantation on the way back to the marina. We didn’t get to go to the tea plantation because they closed before we got there, but the Irvin-House Vineyards were worth the trip. The grapes used for the wine at this particular winery are muscadine grapes and they are the only grapes that will grow in this area of the country, and they actually are indigenous to this area and grow wild here. The muscadine grapes are touted as having seven times more “Resveratrol” (an organic molecule that’s a powerful antioxidant) that’s suppose to be good for lowering cholesterol levels. Since Gary and I are on cholesterol meds, we thought we should buy a couple of bottles for medicinal purposes. It tastes pretty good, too….

The drive to the winery, in itself, was very special. Seeing the “low country” in the middle of nowhere, was a treasured experience. Viewing century old oak trees with Spanish moss hanging from their boughs, is worth the motor breaking down and the tow to this enchanted land. We would have never come here on our own accord, and we are thankful for the opportunity to be here. 


Shrimp and Grits

A walking tour of Charleston, South Carolina, provided insight we would not have experienced had we been in a car. Sometimes, “hoofing it” has great dividends. We saw lovely private gardens with fountains and lush landscape. A lot of the homes have “piazzas“, usually on two floors. Gary and I always called them “balconies”, but when we toured the Aiken-Rhett House today, the docent called them “piazzas”. I looked the word up in the dictionary and it read, ”a large porch on a house; veranda”, chiefly New England and Inland South. See the picture in the Photo Gallery of the Aiken-Rhett House, and you will see it’s stunning piazzas. This house was larger than the historic home we toured yesterday. The exterior was gorgeous; however, the interior has not been refurbished; nor are there any intentions to restore the inside. It is to be “maintained”.
Rida Scott, a friend from Indy, has visited Charleston and she suggested we try a local dish of shrimp and grits. I’ve never been fond of grits, but she said it was really good, so we found a restaurant who served it and we ordered it. It is fabulous. The Charleston Crab House on S. Market Street makes their grits with heavy whipping cream and there is shrimp, sausage, mushrooms, scallions and brown gravy in their recipe. We definitely would order this entrée again.


Shrimp & Grits at the Charleston Crab House on S. Market St.

Shrimp & Grits at the Charleston Crab House on S. Market St.

Something else we ate today that we’d never tasted before was Kobe beef burgers. Kobe beef is raised in Japan and it has an extraordinary flavor. If you ever have the opportunity to eat Kobe beef, we think you would be pleased.

The museum we went to today is The Old Exchange and Dungeon. A lot of Charleston history is displayed in this museum. The brickwork of the dungeon was beautiful, with cascading arches throughout. A lot of pirates were held in the dungeons, and eventually hung on a point of land where other pirates could view the bodies hanging from the gallows, thereby keeping other pirates at bay and ending the piracy in Charles Town. Blackbeard was not one of them hung on the gallows, but he terrorized Charles Town (as it was called in those days.) Blackbeard was killed in North Carolina and beheaded. It’s reported after he was beheaded, his body swam around the ship three times before it sank.

The Grand Hall on the upper floor of The Old Exchange was exquisite. President George Washington visited Charles Town in 1791 and was entertained in this grand hall. He also went to the St. Michael’s Church and history states he “sat in pew #43”. You know you’re an important person when history states what church pew you sat on.

Tomorrow we are leaving this great area of our nation and heading further south. We’ve enjoyed Charleston so much, we want to spend more time here when we make the trip north.

Touring Charleston, S. C.

The Charleston City Marina is very accomodating to transients, providing a shuttle to the downtown area of Charleston.  We took advantage of this service and spent today doing errands and siteseeing.  We went to the Downtown Market which is like a big flea market with lots of different vendors.  Most interesting to us were the basket weavers.  There were a lot of them, making similar basket designs.  Gary had purchased a couple of baskets at the Market years ago and we talked about buying some more, but they had gone way up in price, so we didn’t get any.  However, it was fun to watch the weavers and talk to them.

 We walked around the historic part of Charleston and found a lovely park by the waterfront which had two fountains with wading ponds. (See Photo Gallery)  At first, we thought they were just big fountains, but we read signs indicating the restrictions for their use as wading ponds.  What fun it would be to use them in the heat of the summer.

 We toured one of the historic homes in Charleston today, the Nathaniel Russell house, circa 1808. (See Photo Gallery)  Tomorrow we are going to visit another one and probably go to a museum or two.  This city has a lot to offer to tourist, especially those who are interested in history and the Civil War.